Strangers and Sojourners

by Michael C. O'Brien

  General / Positive Reviews
  Critical Reviews

"O'Brien is a superior spiritual story teller worthy to join the ranks of Flannery O'Connor, Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh, and C. S. Lewis. No novel since Dostoyevski has nourished my soul like Strangers and Sojourners."

--Peter Kreeft

"Michael O'Brien writes with great mastery and wisdom. Strangers and Sojourners is compelling and moving and altogether sui generis."

-- Ralph McInerny


"Strangers and Sojourners comes as a haunting surprise. The story recalls real places with events that reach to the very heart of things. An absorbing novel." 

-- James Schall, S.J.


"The book for which spiritual readers have been waiting many decades: characters that stay in your heart like beloved friends; a profound Christian vision that permeates every page. Full of beauty, pathos, hope and light."

--Ronda Chervin, Ph.D.


  Inspiring by too slow ***

The author employs fascinating dialogue with great insight to characters and their spiritual journey. Unfortunately that did not start until after about 190 pages into the novel. This is a slow developing novel with too many sub-plots and problems with character development.

I can only recommend this book because of the great insights this author provided within the novel. There are small gems scattered throughout the last half of the book.

O'Brien's book Fr. Elijah is still one of my all time favorite books, so maybe I am setting the bar too high.

-GA Beck


  unable to categorize *****

I almost don't want to write a review for Strangers and Sojourners. Though I've taken O'Brien's other books off the bookshelf to re-read them over and over again, I've only read Strangers and Sojourners once. This is not a sign to be taken that the book is bad. No, quite the contrary. I'm still digesting the deep pathos that have lodged themselves somewhere in my mind and heart, I'm scared to take the book back down (being more than a year) again for fear of disrupting the beauty and wisdom that is still growing within. The book is very strange indeed. I work part-time at a little grocery store where most of my work time is spent in the back of the store doing monotonous produce work. I spend the rest of my time as an artist/writer and re-emerging, struggling Catholic. I can give testimony that Strangers and Sojourners has helped me in ways that I do not understand. Events, moods, situations and characters from the book will just pop up in my mind from out of nowhere, while I'm in the middle of a hundred different chores at work or home. The most 'ordinary' things and people have gradually become more and more exciting and mysterious to me. I've come to cherish 'ordinary' things with a thankfulness that is quite alien to me. The sacrament of marriage (though I'm single) especially after reading this book is something so, so beautiful and heroic. This book in the future will emerge in families homes all over. There is no other place where it can emerge.

-Paul Stillwell




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